STEM Tale - The Three Little Pigs Fairy Tale Activity - momgineer

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

STEM Tale - The Three Little Pigs Fairy Tale Activity


Fairy Tale STEM Activity for The Three Little Pigs

The wolf needs a new house. Why? He isn't as bad as the pigs think. He doesn't really want to eat them after all but is just suffering from a bad case of seasonal allergies. No, really. 

Materials Needed for this STEM Fairy Tale Activity

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  • cardboard boxes, recyclables, tape 
  • weights (pennies, wooden blocks, etc.)
  • cereal box to make the testing station
  • a fan to mimic the wolf's sneeze at the testing station (one that can be tilted to blow straight up is desirable for this challenge)

Before Getting Started with the STEM Tale


STEM tales work best if you read the original fairy tale first or do your own storytelling. What is the same or different about this story? Compare and contrast. You will also need to build a testing station. Cut a small window out of both the front and back of a cereal box. You will then attach this to the fan as the testing station. Scroll down to see the finished testing station in action.


Use either the wolf printable provided in the resource I've created (linked below) or a figurine.

Fairy Tale STEM with the Engineering Design Process 

I have designed STEM tales so that as students read the story, they will follow the engineering design process. The new house for wolf needs to be large enough for him to get in and out of, and it must withstand the force of his allergic sneeze.


Designing a House

After brainstorming house design ideas, the students will then choose one to create. They will need to take measurements to make sure that the wolf will fit in the house and that the house will also fit on the testing station. Then they need to test out the house to make sure it doesn't blow away. Depending on the materials used, this is easier said than done!


Though the above design does indeed work for the size constraint, it blew right off the testing station! More weight was obviously needed as the material was quite light and flimsy. Here it is being tested after more weights were added:


The design above now works! There are many possible house designs for this challenge. Here are some samples:

Note that they don't have to be fancy to work, but they do need to meet the design constraints.

Growth Mindset and STEM

STEM tales are a great way to foster teamwork and problem-solving. They are also the perfect way to model a growth mindset. It is rare for an engineering design to work perfectly on the first attempt, so students will likely experience failure at some point. In improving the designs and working together, they will work through the issues and solve the problem.

To find the full resource, which includes an 8-page booklet, check list for self-evaluation, and tips, visit this link:

The Three Little Pigs STEM Tale

Pin the idea for later:

To read more about how to conduct a STEM challenge, visit this post:

http://momgineer.blogspot.com/2016/09/how-to-run-successful-stem-tale.html

To see all posts in this series, click here:

STEM Tales Blog Series




momgineer Meredith Anderson

STEM education is my passion!

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